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  • Sentient Vision aims to expand Cormorant search radar

    14 décembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    Sentient Vision aims to expand Cormorant search radar

    by Chris Thatcher When the Department of National Defence (DND) finalizes the statement of work for the CH-149 Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU), Sentient Vision is hoping a visual detection and ranging (ViDAR) optical radar will be among the requirements. The Australian company has partnered with Heli-One, a Vancouver-based subsidiary of CHC Helicopter, to offer a Canadian manufactured version of what it says is a transformational search and rescue technology. “We've coined a phrase: lost at sea, found in seconds. The system we have developed is able to autonomously find people lost at sea in seconds,” Simon Olsen, director of business development, strategy and partnerships, told Skies. “It is truly transformational. It has the unique ability to detect very small things that virtually no other system in the world has.” Where traditional radar struggles to differentiate small objects such as a person or a rubber raft from the waves in most sea states, ViDAR has successfully demonstrated the ability to find almost all objects or persons. “A radar works on being able to have a response back from the object, so the object needs to stand out from the ocean environment,” explained Olsen. “If the object is very small, and especially if it doesn't have a radar cross-section, it can't get a response back. Hence, in most search and rescue environments, when you are looking for people at sea, a rubber raft or even a small canoe . . . we currently use beacons or transponders to get a rough location, and then rely on the Mark 1 eyeball.” That often involves a spotter in an aircraft monitoring about 0.1 nautical miles at a time. “With ViDAR, we can look out two to 2.5 nautical miles from that aircraft and have an almost 100 per cent certainty of finding every person lost at sea immediately,” he said. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has been analyzing options for a life-extension program that would see the CH-149 fleet of 14 search and rescue helicopters remain in service until around 2040. The project secured long-term funding with the release of the Liberal government defence policy in June 2017. And a year later, in April 2018, Public Services and Procurement Canada posted a letter of notification (LoN) outlining its intent to conduct a sole-source negotiation with Leonardo, formerly AgustaWestland, to replace, modify or upgrade current and projected obsolete systems based on the Norwegian AW101-612 All-Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) model, which began entering service in December 2017. The LoN also indicated that the government would proceed with a plan to “augment” the current fleet by upgrading as many as seven of nine VH-71 aircraft, variants of the AW101, acquired from the U.S. government in 2011 ostensibly for spare parts. Olsen said the Canadian program presents an opportunity to not only work with a highly regarded Canadian partner, but also to develop and prove a solution that could then be exported to other military and civilian search and rescue programs. “If we have the opportunity to partner with [Team Cormorant] to supply this technology to the Canadian government, we see tremendous export appeal to other markets in which these helicopters operate,” he said of the team led by manufacturer Leonardo Helicopters and in-service support provider, IMP Aerospace & Defence. “We are configuring this to be able to retrofit it to existing aircraft of a similar kind.” The ViDAR hardware consists of a small, lightweight pod that can be mounted to multiple points on an aircraft and is then integrated with the onboard mission system. “We don't want to add any risk or complex technical integration, so we've focused on making it easy to integrate and use,” said Olsen. “Operationally, there is no new mission system, there's no new mapping system. All we do is send a location on a map and a thumbnail image of the object we find in the water. The operator can click that image and it slews the existing sensors they have on the aircraft to investigate that object.” It was still being developed when the Canadian government released the statement of requirements for the fixed-wing search and rescue project, but Olsen said ViDAR could be readily added to the Airbus CC295 when it enters service with the RCAF. Air Force members have seen the system in action and are well aware of the capability, he added. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a “fairly exhaustive” trial in 2016 at which, of the various radars evaluated, “we were the only one that found 100 per cent search and rescue targets in a range of sea states,” he said. The Coast Guard subsequently incorporated it into its Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial platforms for counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and off the southern coast. ViDAR is also being employed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Bombardier Challenger 604 jets in a search and rescue capacity. By partnering with Heli-One and CHC Helicopter, which operates an extensive global search and rescue network, Olsen said there is an opportunity to develop a solution with a Canadian stamp on it that the government can take ownership of and help to export. “With the unique relationship between Heli-One and CHC, we clearly see an opportunity to extend this, not just along the path of where the Cormorant goes with Leonardo, but to work with CHC on a range of search and rescue operations they have all around the world.”

  • Airbus, Dassault, Leonardo : le drone MALE européen sur la piste de décollage

    14 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Airbus, Dassault, Leonardo : le drone MALE européen sur la piste de décollage

    Par Michel Cabirol L'Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement a lancé le 31 octobre un appel d'offres portant sur le développement, la production et la phase initiale de maintien en condition opérationnelle du drone MALE européen. Le drone MALE européen est sur la piste de décollage. Le système européen de drone de moyenne altitude et longue endurance MALE RPAS (Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aerial System) a franchi le 22 novembre dernier une nouvelle étape importante avec la réalisation de la revue de conception préliminaire, ont annoncé jeudi les trois industriels Airbus, Dassault Aviation et Leonardo. D'ici le milieu de la prochaine décennie, le MALE RPAS, conçu pour opérer dans l'espace aérien non ségrégué, pourra être déployé dans le monde entier pour des missions de renseignement, surveillance, acquisition de cible et reconnaissance (ISTAR). "Ce succès majeur intervient après le lancement par l'Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement (OCCAR) le 31 octobre d'un appel d'offres portant sur le développement, la production et la phase initiale de maintien en condition opérationnelle du programme", ont précisé les trois industriels dans le communiqué. Cette nouvelle étape permettra aux nations et aux industriels partenaires de commencer le développement du système avec des spécifications harmonisées et une vision claire de sa conception globale. Surtout, la question du prix va être importante mais pas déterminante pour le lancement du programme s'il y a bien sûr toujours une volonté politique. D'autant que l'Allemagne se serait engagée à prendre à son compte les surcoûts liés à la motorisation du MALE. Mi-2017, les pays partenaires avaient conclu un accord sur la configuration du drone, optant in fine pour un système biturbopropulseur. Résultat, la facture pourrait s'élever à plus de 2 milliards d'euros, soit plus du double de l'estimation d'un projet précédent (1 milliard d'euros). Airbus, maître d'oeuvre Désigné comme futur maître d'œuvre, Airbus Defence and Space coordonnera la réponse industrielle à l'appel d'offres avec les principaux sous-traitants : Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation SA et Leonardo. Airbus va passer un test grandeur nature, le groupe n'a jusqu'ici pas particulièrement brillé dans la conduite de certains grands programmes militaires, dont il a eu la maîtrise d'oeuvre (A400M, drone SIDM, hélicoptère NH90...). Et plus spécifiquement quand le groupe européen a lui-même dû développer des missions de défense dans ces programmes. Selon le communiqué, cet appel d'offres témoigne de la volonté des nations partenaires (France, Allemagne, Italie et Espagne) de poursuivre le programme "à l'issue d'une phase extrêmement fructueuse d'alignement des exigences et d'une démonstration convaincante de la qualité et de l'adéquation de la conception proposée à l'usage prévu". La revue de conception préliminaire du système conclut avec succèsl'étude de définition de deux ans lancée en septembre 2016 par les nations partenaires. Trois d'entre elles avaient signé en mai 2015 une déclaration d'intention en vue du développement commun d'un système de drone européen MALE, puis l'Espagne a rejoint le programme en 2016.

  • The Government of Canada reaffirms its commitment to Davie and its workers

    14 décembre 2018 | Local, Naval

    The Government of Canada reaffirms its commitment to Davie and its workers

    Canadian Coast Guard adds to its icebreaker fleet for first time in twenty five years LÉVIS, QC, Dec. 14, 2018 /CNW/ - Our Canadian waterways play a crucial role in our culture, history, and economy. Keeping these waterways safe and open for business is a priority for the Government of Canada. This is why we are ensuring that the Canadian Coast Guard is properly equipped for the important work it carries out on a daily basis in keeping Canadians and our Canadian waters safe. Today, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert, Joël Lightbound, announced that the first of the three medium icebreakers recently built by Chantier Davie for the Canadian Coast Guard will be named CCGS CaptainMolly Kool. The expertise and the talent of Chantier Davie workers were in the limelight during that event, which highlighted the first floating of a Coast Guard icebreaker in twenty-five years. The Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretary have seized the opportunity to visit the shipyard and to meet the workers, in order to reiterate the importance of Chantier Davie for the Canadian shipbuilding industry. All three medium icebreakers, recently acquired by the Coast Guard, will undergo refit and conversion work at Chantier Davie in Lévis, Québec, to ensure they comply with Canadian regulatory and Coast Guard operational standards before entering the fleet. The first ship will allow the Coast Guard to provide essential services during the upcoming winter season, while the other two undergo refit projects. The namesake of the icebreaker, Captain Myrtle 'Molly' Kool, was the first woman in North America to become a master mariner. Myrtle Kool, known by everyone as Molly, was born in 1916 in Alma, New Brunswick. In 1937, she was the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain, and in 1939, was awarded her coastal master's certificate. CCGS Captain Molly Kool is part of the national Coast Guard fleet which carries out icebreaking duties in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, and Arctic regions. This icebreaker is the latest Coast Guard asset deployed to help ensure the safety of Canadian waterways and those who rely on them, both for recreational and commercial purposes. Quotes "Today, we are pleased to welcome CCGS Captain Molly Kool into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. This icebreaker will provide essential support to the shipping industry, while keeping Canadians safe along our waterways. Canadians can be proud of the men and women of our Coast Guard, and the important work they carry out from coast, to coast, to coast." The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard "CCGS Captain Molly Kool is a welcome and much needed addition into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. Congratulations to the skilled workers of Chantier Davie for their excellent work in bringing this ship into service for the upcoming icebreaking season. This project is yet another example of how the National Shipbuilding Strategy is supporting jobs and prosperity in communities across Canada, including here in Quebec." The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility "I am proud to be here with my colleague the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, and my colleague the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert, in order to highlight the excellent work achieved by the Chantier Davie workers on CCGS Captain Molly Kool. The importance of the Chantier Davie for the Canadian shipbuilding industry and for our region's economy is undeniable. The high quality of the refit and conversion work conducted on CCGS Captain Molly Kool is another example of our workers' exceptional know-how. Together, we can consider the future with confidence.." The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Quick Facts CCGS Captain Molly Kool measures 93.7 metres in length, and has a beam of 18 metres. It is classified as a medium icebreaker, and can maintain a speed of 3 knots through ice up to 1 metre thick. In addition to icebreaking, the ship will support other Coast Guard programs, such as Search and Rescue and Environmental Response Icebreakers are crucial to Coast Guard services, the safety of mariners, protection of coastal waters, and efficient transport of people and goods through Canada's waterways.

  • Trade tribunal puts frigate program back on track

    14 décembre 2018 | Local, Naval

    Trade tribunal puts frigate program back on track

    Murray Brewster · CBC News The federal government's plan to award to a group of companies led by Lockheed Martin Canada the contract to design and support the construction of the navy's new frigates has been — nominally — put back on track. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has rescinded an order, issued late last month, that prevented the signing of the deal. The decision to reverse course was made Monday after Public Services and Procurement Canada "certified in writing that the ... procurement is urgent and that a delay in awarding the contract would be contrary to the public interest," according to a copy of the ruling. The decision opens the way for the government to finalize the contract, which is still under negotiation. The Lockheed Martin Canada-led team was selected in October as the preferred bidder after a nearly two-year-long competition to select an off-the-shelf design for the 15 new warships that eventually will replace the navy's frigates. One of the competitors, Alion, asked the CITT to investigate the procurement deal, saying the preferred warship design will need substantial changes and doesn't meet the navy's requirements as spelled out in the government tender. The company also has asked the Federal Court in a separate filing for a judicial review of the long-awaited decision. That case is still pending. The federal government hopes to be able to sign a contract this winter. The order to postpone implementing a deal could have had a devastating impact on the $60 billion program, which already has suffered a series of delays. One of the biggest concerns involved an anticipated production slowdown at the go-to shipyard for warship construction, Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax. The federal government is expecting gap of, possibly, 18 months between the completion of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and the beginning of construction on the new frigates, known as Canadian Surface Combatants. The Liberal government has attempted to mitigate the slowdown by confirming the construction of six Arctic patrol ships. Further delays to the new frigates would have made that worse.

  • DARPA: Bringing Advanced Microelectronics to Revolutionary Defense Applications

    14 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    DARPA: Bringing Advanced Microelectronics to Revolutionary Defense Applications

    Today's critical Department of Defense (DOD) systems and platforms rely on advanced electronics to address national security objectives. To help tackle obstacles facing a half-century of electronics advancement, DARPA launched the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) – a five-year, upwards of $1.5 billion investment in the future of domestic electronic systems. In November, DARPA expanded ERI with the announcement of ERI Phase II, which seeks to further enmesh the technology needs and capabilities of the defense enterprise with the commercial and manufacturing realities of the electronics industry. One key focus of ERI Phase II is on developing connections between the various ERI programs and their potential defense applications. On Wednesday, December 19, DARPA therefore plans to host a Proposers Day to convene leaders within the defense industry base (DIB) to discuss opportunities to further develop and demonstrate ERI's technological advances for DOD needs. During the event, DARPA program managers will share their ideas for potential ERI defense applications, which include but are not limited to autonomy and artificial intelligence, large-scale emulation, cybersecurity, space applications, cognitive electronic warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). To foster further dialogue and collaboration, attendees will have a chance to provide input on how best to support the transition of electronics innovations into national defense hardware. The Proposers Day will also support the development of a potential broad agency announcement (BAA) focused on defense transitions. Tentatively titled “Electronics Resurgence Initiative: Defense Applications (ERI:DA)”, the BAA would solicit innovative proposals to develop, demonstrate, and apply emerging ERI electronic technologies to deliver significant impact on DOD capabilities. “The success of ERI relies on cooperation with the commercial sector to address shared problems. However, as a DARPA effort, ERI must also demonstrate that its research findings bolster our nation's defenses and help create strategic surprise,” said Dr. William Chappell, director of DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). “Through the ERI:DA Proposers Day and potential BAA, DARPA seeks to procure the expertise and transition support of industry and the defense community to help accelerate the delivery of ERI-derived innovations for national security needs.” The Electronic Resurgence Initiative: Defense Applications Proposers Day will take place on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 from 9:00am to 4:00pm EST, at the Hilton Arlington, 950 N Stafford St, Arlington, Virginia. Advanced registration is required. For those unable to attend in person, registered attendees may access the event via a livestream link available on the registration page. For more information, please visit:

  • Japan Calls For STOVL Fighters, Plan For 42 F-35Bs Reported

    14 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Japan Calls For STOVL Fighters, Plan For 42 F-35Bs Reported

    Bradley Perrett | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report BEIJING—A national security meeting of Japan's ruling party has called for the acquisition of shipboard fighters capable of short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), as a newspaper reports that substantial orders are planned for the version of the Lockheed Martin F-35Lightning that has that ability. Japan needs STOVL aircraft operated from currently available ships to guard against threats from its Pacific Ocean side of the country, according to a summary of results of the meeting published by the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, days before the expected release of a five-year defense acquisition program. Buying 100 F-35s, including some of the F-35B STOVL version, has been expected in the five-year plan, which will start on April 1, 2019; they would be in addition to a current program for 42 F-35As. In fact, there will be 42 F-35Bs, the Mainichi newspaper said. They will operate from the helicopter carrier Izumo, which will reportedly be modified for that purpose. Modification of Izumo's sibling, Kaga, is not mentioned but would surely also occur, to ensure that one ship with F-35Bs was always available. Full article:

  • Lockheed Martin Canada and L3 MAS Join Forces to Pursue the Royal Canadian Air Force Future Aircrew Training Project

    14 décembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    Lockheed Martin Canada and L3 MAS Join Forces to Pursue the Royal Canadian Air Force Future Aircrew Training Project

    OTTAWA, Ontario, and MIRABEL, Quebec, Dec. 13, 2018 – Lockheed Martin Canada and L3 MAS announced today they have joined forces to offer a military aircrew training solution for the Department of National Defence Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) project. The FAcT project will deliver a relevant, flexible, responsive, and effective aircrew training program for military pilots, Air Combat Systems Officers and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators to meet the future requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces. Leveraging Lockheed Martin Corporation's global experience in designing, delivering, and operating full-spectrum training solutions, including those in the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia, Lockheed Martin Canada is prepared to deliver a Canadian solution to train the next generation of Canadian Armed Forces aircrew. “Lockheed Martin Canada is excited about the opportunity to team with L3 MAS to offer a fully integrated, innovative and low-risk solution for the Royal Canadian Air Force future aircrew training requirements,” said Charles Bouchard, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. “Lockheed Martin is a world leader in providing leading-edge ‘full schoolhouse' aircrew training solutions, and we look forward to working with the Government of Canada to offer the right solution for Canada's next generation of aircrew.” L3 MAS, as the premier In-Service Support (ISS) integrator for the RCAF, will offer its proven fleet management, logistics and maintenance capabilities in support of all training assets to ensure optimum performance, flexibility and value for money for the Government of Canada. “L3 MAS is delighted to team with Lockheed Martin Canada to help deliver an advanced, world-class, integrated training system to future generations of RCAF aircrew,” said Jacques Comtois, vice president and general manager of L3 MAS. “L3 MAS will leverage our proven fleet management and ISS capabilities across many of the RCAF's major fleets to ensure maximum asset availability and best value.” Lockheed Martin was selected as a qualified supplier for the FAcT project in December 2018. The Lockheed Martin Canada-L3 MAS team will be supported by a wide range of Canadian companies. About Lockheed Martin Canada Lockheed Martin Canada, headquartered in Ottawa, is the Canadian-based arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company employing 100,000 people worldwide. Lockheed Martin Canada has been Canada's trusted defence partner for nearly 80 years specializing in the development, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The company employs approximately 1,000 employees at major facilities in Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, and Victoria, working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and commercial sectors. About L3 MAS L3 MAS, a division within L3's ISR Systems business segment, is Canada's leading In-Service Support (ISS) integrator. L3 MAS delivers innovative and integrated solutions that span the full spectrum of ISS. This includes fleet management, annual maintenance planning and optimization; Life-Cycle Material Management (LCMM); Integrated Logistics Support (ILS); Electronic Information Environments (EIE); systems engineering; material management; configuration management; publications; and data management. L3 MAS is also known for its design, prototyping, manufacture, repair and overhaul, and certification of aerospace components. The company is headquartered in Mirabel, Quebec, and employs 800 people at operating centres across Canada. To learn more about L3 MAS, please visit the company's website at

  • US Army seeking APS technology for Bradley vehicles

    14 décembre 2018 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    US Army seeking APS technology for Bradley vehicles

    Ashley Roque, Washington, DC - Jane's Defence Weekly Once again the US army is looking for new active protection systems (APSs) to equip on its family of M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. Whether this is a positive or negative for IMI Systems' Iron Fist remains unclear. On 11 December, the service issued a draft request for proposal in the form of a "market survey" for APSs with a technology readiness level (TRL) 6. "This APS shall have been proven and characterised on the Bradley Family of Vehicles [FOV]," the service wrote in a short notice. "This will be accomplished through the procurement of a B-Kit, consisting of the system and countermeasures." Industry has until 18 December to respond. Recently, the service has been evaluating three APSs: Rafael's Trophy on the Abrams main battle tank (MBT), IMI Systems' Iron Fist on the M2 Bradley, and Artis' Iron Curtain on the Stryker infantry combat vehicle. In June Leonardo DRS (Rafael's US-based partner) was awarded USD193 million to integrate the capability on Abrams MBTs. Artis' Iron Curtain system, however, was cut due to a lack of maturity. IMI Systems' Iron Fist is now uncertain, and the company and an army spokeswoman did not immediately respond to Jane's request for information. Colonel Glenn Dean, project manager for Stryker Brigade Combat Team and APS acquisition, told reporters in August that IMI's Iron Fist technology was still participating in Phase I live-fire and automotive characterisation testing due to an eight-month delay caused by funding gaps, inclement weather, and integration challenges. At the time, he noted that the findings would be turned over to the Army Requirements Oversight Council in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 for a decision on how to proceed. He also explained that the M2 Bradley is a "very difficult platform to install on".

  • Pentagon seeks better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers

    14 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Pentagon seeks better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers

    Pat Host, Washington, DC - Jane's Defence Weekly Key Points The Pentagon is seeking better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers It is likely that the Pentagon is looking for vulnerability points or perhaps more accurate pricing The Pentagon is seeking a better understanding of the risks presented by key components and organisations in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) sustainment supply chain that could have an impact on overall programme cost, schedule, and performance. The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) relies heavily on Lockheed Martin and F135 engine developer Pratt & Whitney to provide insight into sustainment supply chain risks for the air system. The JPO has a good understanding of Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and their major suppliers, but the Pentagon said there is often limited visibility into the sub-tier suppliers who provide critical components and personnel to support sustainment. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 3 December posted a request for proposal (RFP) on Federal Business Opportunities for F-35 JPO Sustainment Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM). The contractor will need to produce and maintain an F-35 supply chain mapping and associated risk assessment. The contractor will map the air system sustainment supply chain to at least the third tier, up to a total of 250 suppliers. The map will need to show how suppliers are mapped, both vertically and horizontally. The contractor will provide a high-level risk analysis, comprising a minimum of the supplier ownership history and manufacturing locations within the last 10 years for all 250 suppliers mapped. The contractor will then provide a full risk analysis for 80 of the 250 suppliers identified, including, at a minimum: ownership history, financial information, partnerships, legal issues, and countries of origin and manufacturing locations.

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